Ever since the pandemic hit, Berwick Manor Restaurant (referred to by most as just the Berwick) simply hasn’t had the same customer base.
The now third generation family-owned Italian spot, instead of throwing in the towel, decided to find a solution: if people couldn’t come to them, they were going to take their food to the people instead.
The Taste Tour of Italy is an ongoing event that sees the iconic restaurant on the city’s southeast side bring both hot and cold food to a wide range of different Columbus neighborhoods and surrounding cities.
The tour has been ongoing since September, but you can still catch it at a handful of Columbus-area locations. Upcoming stops on the Taste of Italy Tour include:
- Saturday, Nov. 21: St. Agatha School, Upper Arlington (5-6:30 p.m.)
- Sunday, Nov. 22: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Italian Village (10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m.)
- Wednesday, Dec. 2: Route 42 & New California Dr., Plain City (4:30-6 p.m.)
- Thursday, Dec. 3: Abraham Depp Elementary, Plain City (4-5:30 p.m.)
- Friday, Dec. 4: Ridgeview Junior High School, Pickerington (4-5:30 p.m.)
And there’s much more where that came from. A full list of tour stops (that will continue to be updated) can be found here.
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The process is simple: you select the food you want (well, this part might actually be hard, judging by the vast array of delicious menu options offered), choose a pickup date and time, and select whether you want your food to be kept warm or refrigerated for you to reheat later.
And there’s still time to order for this weekend if you’re craving homemade gnocchi, chicken piccata, portable mushroom ravioli, or a whole host of other fabulous Italian entrees and a la carte dishes. To secure your food for this Saturday and Sunday, orders should be placed by 8 p.m. today.
According to the restaurant’s Sales & Event Manager Stephanie Susi-Ochoa, the Taste of Italy Tour came about after the first wave of COVID-19 hit Columbus.
“Even since the start of the pandemic we were talking about doing a food truck, or something like that. And when some of our customers stopped coming to us because of the pandemic, we knew we needed to do something,” she said.
Over the course of the summer, what that something was slowly took shape.
“We started with asking close friends and customers if they would help us start this, and find a location to host one of our events,” Susi-Ochoa said. Slowly, these food pickups gained attention, and more stops to the tour were added as the event grew organically. “It just kind of expanded as people kept hearing about it.”
The tour has been going strong for several months, and the eatery (as many of their customers likely do) hope the support for it will continue.
“It’s very nice because we normally have events booked through December, but with everything going on those have really slowed down. We’re hoping this keeps going,” Susi-Ochoa said.
And even though the Berwick, like many restaurants, is working hard to stay on its feet through a litany of pandemic-related setbacks, the eatery is still finding ways to give back to its patrons and their communities, in an engaging, creative fashion.
At every stop on the Taste of Italy Tour, 10% of the proceeds made are donated to a charity within that community. For example, 10% of proceeds from sales on Saturday will be donated to St. Agatha School; and on Dec. 2, 10% of sales will benefit the Plain City Elementary School PTO.
The entire operation is crowdsourced as well, so tour stops are first suggested by customers who have a deserving charity in mind.
To create your own stop on the tour, reach out to the Berwick today.